Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Respire

“A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller betwixt life and death;”
~William Wordsworth

Black suitcase behind ventilator
with gnarling braids of leather fits
inside the shadows just as each
forced breath fits
inside my mind.

Red spider veins cover your face
like the frost that spreads
on the windows. Patterns within
patterns eating up the cool clear
glass.

Green light shimmers.
A candle cleaves to a wine bottle
in a templed corner.
Wax drips. Lava moving
to stillness.

Blue blanket soft
moving up and down
hides sickness in folds.
An ocean unsettled
by wind.

White falls outside.
Cascades like memory.
Lingers and sparkles
in moonlight
then scatters as darkness

fills with another
breath.

© 2004 Joanne Elliott

19 comments:

  1. A sad scene with haunting images of last breath.

    Like these lines:

    Red spider veins cover your face
    like the frost that spreads
    on the windows.

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  2. Very emotional trek you send the reader on, right until the last breath is taken. Very nice!

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  3. Heaven: Thank you.

    Pat: Thanks. I just realized you're from my old home town. How are things there?

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  4. Painfully real images--beautifully expressed. "...Patterns within/patterns eating up the cool clear/glass....' And a perfect quote to set the theme without spelling it out. Excellent poem.

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  5. I love the way you have tightly wound images throughout this piece. Beautiful verse.

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  6. This speaks volumes to me, I've been that person 'sitting' watching the monitors every minute fro the slightest changes, waiting for any beeps, watching each breath fought for and yes, right up to and beyond the last.
    Now, I have tears in my eyes.
    Very powerful piece from you and of course, heartfelt.

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  7. ack...love the imagery and you use it well to build the mood of this piece..sad...the folds of the blanket were particluarly vivid to me...i felt this...

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  8. such emotion in this piece and so sad and powerful
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/08/29/unsuspecting-creatures-of-the-night/

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  9. Somewhere between Traviata and LaBoheme - consumption to be consumed with the need to breathe - the hint that death should not yet come, that we're at the threshold of tragedy subtly painted with the suitcase and these lines: "Green light shimmers.
    A candle cleaves to a wine bottle
    in a templed corner."
    Sublime. G.

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  10. love your use of color here to paint the mood...green lights were the most intriguing for me..

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  11. Oh, Joanne! You have painted that atmosphere so very beautifully with your words, but yet the subject is so sad. I have been in such rooms recently, where the quiet can be the loudest sound as you wait. Haunted and will remain.

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  12. A piece well written, engaging – good work… mine is here: http://www.image-verse.com/clown

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  13. Full of evocative images and quiet grace. Thank you.

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  14. Some great lines - sepecially stanza 2 - wow

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